Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Densitom. 2016 Jan-Mar;19(1):54-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jocd.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Sep 26.

Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Radiology & Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The Royal Infirmary, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & University of Manchester, Manchester, England, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Judith.adams@manchester.ac.uk.

Abstract

Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures.

KEYWORDS:

Computed tomography; DXA vertebral fracture assessment; Magnetic resonance imaging; Opportunistic identification; Vertebral fracture

PMID:
26412139
DOI:
10.1016/j.jocd.2015.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center